Study Shows Why It's Dangerous to Go Down a Slide With Your Child

It’s hard to let go, but the safest way for your child to slide is solo.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Assistant Editor
Updated November 16, 2022
mother helping toddler go down the slide at the playground
Image: Miljan Zivkovic | Shutterstock

As the holidays approach, sugar highs and cabin fever loom. If you are in search of a little sanity, a trip to the playground could be just what the doctor ordered. But before you bundle up and head out, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reminds parents of the importance of brushing up on playground safety.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 200,000 kids are injured on playgrounds each year. Of these injuries, 17 percent of them take place on slides. While burns from hot slides and falls account for a portion of these injuries, it may surprise you that another big contributor to slide-related injuries often involves parents.

Researchers at the AAP have found that when an adult holds a child while going down a slide, it significantly increases the chance the child could break their leg. Here’s how it typically happens: Slides are specifically designed for children and between you and your child, their foot is often left out to the side in danger of getting caught on the way down. If your child’s foot catches the side of the slide even for just a moment, it can twist backward and break, as your weight carries you forward.

While many parents are often surprised to learn that sliding solo is safer, a growing number of parents and pediatricians are posting their personal stories and warnings on social media.

Samantha Faranda, a mom blogger shared her own cautionary tale earlier this year after her son Elijah’s leg got caught while sliding with dad. The incident left her little boy with a fractured tibia and a cast for three weeks. “Elijah is being such a trooper through all of this but our hearts still hurt that just having a fun day at the park turned into this and having proper knowledge could have possibly prevented it,” Faranda added in the caption of her post.

Keep the fun times going this holiday season by reviewing these five playground safety tips from pediatricians. A little chilly at your locale? Check out these top-rated winter coats to keep your kiddo warm on the playground and beyond.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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